What are the negotiation win-win related to the game of time?

In negotiations, time manipulation tactics are often used. Most often, negotiators try to drag out the talks when they want to carefully analyze the other side’s proposals, modify their limit of concessions, think about the next move. It happens that win-win negotiation techniques related to the game of time are also used to obtain more favorable terms of the contract by discouraging the partner from his demands. Mental and physical fatigue, which occurs during exhausting conversations, causes the desire to end the meeting quickly. Negotiators cease to be adamant and are more willing to agree to the proposals of the other side, which may not be so beneficial for them, but will lead to the long-awaited consensus.

Negotiations are often attended by professional negotiators, representing the entrepreneur or conducting talks on behalf of the company. They become only representatives of a given economic unit, and thus have predetermined decision-making powers. This means that they will not be able to negotiate binding arrangements on certain issues. Their proposals will have to be confirmed by the management of the organization.

The negotiation technique of limited power (limited influence/limited competence) consists in the fact that at some point in the talks the negotiator invokes the lack of decision-making in a given area. Thanks to such a move, one of the parties gains additional time, which can be spent on analyzing a given issue or devising a different negotiation strategy.

The negotiation technique of limited power is designed to soften the position of the other side. Let’s assume that we managed to negotiate satisfactory contract terms, which we strongly insisted on. Suddenly, we learn that the arrangements are not binding and we will talk to the decision-makers about everything again. There is a high probability that we will have lower expectations in the next negotiations. We will want to end the meeting quickly, because we will be tired and exhausted.

Negotiators should not succumb to emotions, but they are only human, so anger, fatigue and discouragement, and maybe also irritability can influence the decisions made. If you see that you are beginning to accept concessions that do not suit you, think about whether it is worth leaving the negotiating table for a moment.

Win-win negotiation techniques on the one hand are used as a game for time, and on the other hand, they allow you to calm down emotions, relax and think over the existing arrangements of the contract. This tactic introduces a change in the pace of talks and prevents unilateral concessions. However, it should not be abused. Slowing down negotiations too often can lead the other side into irritation that will break off the talks. And then we can lose quite a promising contract and the possibility of permanent cooperation.

Breaks are successfully used in negotiations that concern many aspects and/or involve many negotiators. It is worth ending the conversations after determining the issue. Both sides will have a moment to summarize the benefits achieved, calm emotions, determine the further negotiation strategy.


Region Gdański NSZZ „Solidarność”

Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Norwegii poprzez Fundusze Norweskie 2014-2021, w ramach programu „Dialog społeczny – godna praca”.

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